Examples Of Transcendentalism In The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter is the story of a woman who makes a choice that affects her entire life and transcends through the harsh judgments that she faces. Nathaniel Hawthorne published this novel in the 1850’s. Some would say it is his most famous work. The story is set in Boston, Massachusetts, during the puritan times about a women and her struggle through life when she has given birth to a daughter that is a product of adultery. However, some may see Hester as an anti-transcendentalist. One could say that she was forced into committing these transcending acts because of her situation. That she is not a true transcendentalist. Throughout this book, Hester is a good example of sticking by what you believe and not letting others tell her what to…show more content…
Hester “took the baby on her arm, and with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at the towns people and neighbors” as if she was not going to let them put her to shame even longer than they already had (Hawthorne chapter 2). Even though every one in the crowd thought that she should be very ashamed of what she did and want to hide the scarlet letter, she accepted it as a part of herself and didn’t let them affect her. Hester had accepted her punishment and didn’t dwell in it. She wasn’t going to accept their put downs any longer. In Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience, he thinks, “the only obligation which [he] has the right to assume, is to do at any time what [he] think right.” Just like Hester, Thoreau knows that a person has the right to his or her own beliefs and shouldn’t be weighed down by what society says is…show more content…
Hester gave “her little substance to every demand of poverty, even though the bitter-hearted pauper threw a gibe in requital of the food brought regularly to his door” (Hawthorne Chapter 13). Hester makes just enough money for her and Pearl to have the necessities. She still goes out and helps the people who are less fortunate than her, even though a lot of them still insult her and don’t always appreciate her and what she does. She never asks for anything, yet gives all that she can. Even though everyone has told Hester that she cannot make money, live a good life, survive there, or be happy, she still proves every one of the puritans wrong despite what she has been through. In Self-reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson, he is trying to convince people to “trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” Emerson is stating that you need to trust yourself, if you do, you can be truly happy in whatever you do. You are the only person that you can always relyon. Hester relies on herself everyday for everything and she is trying to live the happiest life

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